Formula 1’s opening round of testing has been completed in Jerez, Spain, and the 2015 F1 cars are now en-route to Barcelona for eight more days of running throughout February.
These early testing sessions can be massively misleading, but the Ferrari team unquestionably performed well during their four days in Jerez. Ferrari remains 16/1 to claim the 2015 constructor’s title, however.
The Italian marque also provide engines to the Sauber team and they were the real story during the four days of testing in Jerez; their cars ultimately finished third and fifth on the overall timesheets.
2,000/1 can be had for Sauber collecting the constructors title. As the team failed to score a single point during the 2014 season that price is understandable.
But as Brawn, a supposedly hopeless first season team, showed similar pace in the early season testing during 2009 before going on to collect the Constructor’s Championship and Driver’s Championship (for Jenson Button) that price may be worth a throw-away Euro or two.
Sauber, a Swiss team, have two new drivers at the wheel for 2015: Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasir and they are pivotal to an outstanding match-bet proposition.
Ericsson is in his second season of motorsports highest echelon, last year he was with no-hopers Caterham. Nasir, meanwhile, is a first-season F1 rookie, but the Brazilian was Formula 3 champion in 2011 and was the choice of the Williams’ team as their test driver in 2014.
While the merits of their respective CV’s are hard to assess, given they are both in new cars and new surroundings. On form, it’s abundantly clear that the line should be much nearer 5/6 each-of-two as opposed to the 4/9 & 13/8 they are currently trading.
However, I’m told Nasir is a bright burning light who insiders expect to comprehensively outshine his Swedish teammate and they believe he should be a clear odds-on favourite.
This is not the only season match-bet which looks out of line. A whopping 31/10 is available about Jenson Button outscoring his inbound teammate, Fernando Alonso.
Alonso is a class act, a double World Champion and a three-time championship runner-up to Sebastian Vettel (2010, 2012 & 2013) with his invincible Red Bull. But the Spaniard is joining a McLaren team that has a popular reliable figure – in the shape of Jenson Button – well entrenched within it.
Alonso is more of a dictator. His former team, Ferrari, was built around him and his last spell as a McLaren driver (2007) ended acrimoniously with his distain of Lewis Hamilton being given No. 1 status within the squad.
There is a strong possibility toys could be thrown out of the pram once more. But even if the Spaniard fits cleanly into the McLaren jigsaw, he still to come to terms with new equipment and new machinery. Both drivers will have to depend on a new Honda engine which may, or may not, prove reliable.
But the justification for this bet is not only Alonso’s learning curve but Button’s strong results alongside reigning World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.
During Jenson Button’s three seasons coupled with Lewis Hamilton (at McLaren) he:
Was outpointed by Hamilton 214 points to 240 in 2010.
Outscored the current world champion by 270 to 227 in 2011.
Was beaten by just two points in the 2012 season (188 points to 190).
Combined, over three seasons, Button scored more points than Hamilton and, therefore, statistically, he cannot be a 31/10 shot to outscore Alonso. He should be backed accordingly.